The Miracle of Pouring Tea

 Three men walk into a bar … no, wait … a priest, a rabbi and a minister walk into a bar … no, wait … I’ve got it! Three monks are on a pilgrimage. They meet a woman who has a teashop. The woman prepares a pot of tea for them. She brings the teapot and three cups, places them on the table in front of the monks, and says, “Oh holy monks, let those of you with miraculous powers drink the tea.”

The monks look at each other, and you can just see them thinking: which of us will pour the tea? Who will claim miraculous powers? We are monks. We can’t publicly claim miraculous powers, what will others think of us?

The woman waits a few moments, then says, “Watch this decrepit old woman show her own miraculous power.” And, she picks up the teapot and pours tea into each of the cups and goes out of the room.

The woman is wonderfully present to and engaged with the moment and the needs and wants of the moment.  The universe is present in that moment, in that act, in each moment, in each act. The sun, the rain, the earth are in the tea leaves, in the fuel for the fire, in the muscle tendons and bones of the woman. All of the universe is present in all. All the world is in a grain of sand if we will be see it.

The woman was fully present to the monks. She engaged with them with an open heart and mind. She taught her lesson, and left to go on to the next bit of living. Lovely. Fair. Just. Dignified.

Know that your powers are miraculous. They are enough. Do your best. That is miracle enough. That is enough. That is a miracle.

With thanks to Mary Grace Orr, “The Hidden Lamp: Stories from twenty five centuries of awakened women” Wisdom Publications and Parabola.